Participating in theatre can have a positive impact on your child’s development in many ways. And it isn’t limited to just drama classes. Theatre-related activities such as acting, singing, performing, or even playing pretend and reading aloud are just a few ways your child can exercise their imagination.
Luckily for children here in Singapore, theatre courses, acting classes, and other performing arts activities are not hard to come by. Read on as we share four ways theatre can positively impact your child’s development.
Theatre Increases Creativity
As mentioned above, theatre is an art of imagination. While television programmes and movies can also positively impact a child’s imagination, theatre requires a different take on resourcefulness and flexibility. For instance, in Disney’s Aladdin, the protagonist’s pet monkey, Abu, is animated. In the Broadway musical version, Abu was played by a human character to give new life to the show.
Furthermore, the theatre encourages your child to exercise something known as divergent thinking, otherwise known as ‘thinking in multiple directions. Some improv acting classes are often processes of discovering where the story goes, while scripted theatre leans more towards figuring out what the story means and how it should be told. This open-ended nature of theatre increases a child’s tolerance for ambiguity and sparks curiosity within them to experiment with different tones and actions that they can use to tell a story.
Theatre Paves The Way For Higher Academic Achievement
Children enrolled in acting classes tend to show higher test scores, improved levels of comprehending texts and increased motivation to learn. Theatre classes also teach children how to project their voices better and speak clearly – an important skill for everyday life and public speaking. Additionally, acting classes will also help children learn how to express themselves emotionally and excel in non-verbal communication skills.
Theatre Teaches Your Child The Importance Of Teamwork
While sports teach children the importance of teamwork, they often end up competing against someone or another team in some sense. Performing, on the other hand, teaches children what it means to work as a team without competing against anyone else – they are all in this together! For example, if your child’s fellow cast member remembers her lines and delivers them perfectly, the show becomes better. The whole cast has to work together to put something out for the audience, and because everyone has a common goal to focus on, everyone learns to lift and provide support for one another.
Theatre Promotes Empathy
Empathy is known to be one of the most valuable human qualities, yet it is also one of the hardest to teach. Even though research has shown that attending live theatre can improve empathy, did you know that children exposed to the theatre can also develop emotional resilience and better regulate their emotions?
This can be attributed to the fact that they have to take on different roles, and as the director or course instructor explains a character’s perspective, intentions and goals, children have to learn how to identify with them. For instance, when a play or scene explores a difficult topic like bullying, watching this or reenacting it allows children to discover emotions they may not have experienced in their own lives, thus developing empathy. Children who attend theatre or acting classes can therefore manage their emotions better and communicate how they are feeling, leading to better dialogue with their peers and contributing to a healthier social environment.
Encouraging Theatre Skills At Home
The best way to encourage theatre skills is at home. For instance, if your child likes to read their books aloud, you can get them to act out their favourite characters and express the emotions that they think the character is feeling. Encouraging your child to play pretend is also a great way to kickstart their imagination. Show your child how to play dress-up and get them to use silly voices or over-the-top exaggerated gestures. Inspire them to play along and commit to this character for a while. This can be a good way to introduce them to performing and see if it’s something they may want to pursue in an after-school musical theatre, theatre or acting class.
If they do, you can consider to enrol them into MindChamps Academie of Stars. As Singapore’s premier performing arts school, our team is dedicated to developing a path for all who have shown interest in the performance arts. Whether it is singing classes, acting classes, musical theatre or theatre lessons, you can rest assured that all of our programmes are designed to help your child succeed in their passions.
Book an appointment to learn more about what we do and how each of our performing arts programmes can benefit your child.